Yorvit Torrealba Suspended 66 Games for Striking an Umpire

Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images(CARACAS) -- Texas Rangers' catcher Yorvit Torrealba has been suspended 66 games by the Venezuelan League for striking an umpire.

After striking out, Torrealba started arguing with the home plate umpire before hitting him in the face mask with an open hand.

"I wanted to express my sincere apologies to all parties for my actions during the Venezuelan Winter League game on Friday," Torrealba said in a statement Monday. "I have extended an apology to the Rangers organization as well. I am embarrassed for my conduct, and personally relayed that feeling to the umpire after that night's game. On the field, I strive to be an example for children, especially those in my native Venezuela, and I regret my actions. I understand the reactions to the incident and will make every effort to set a positive example in the future."

Torrealba will be suspended for the rest of this season and all of next season in the Venezuelan League.


Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Scoreboard Roundup - 12/26/11

Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- NBA: The Indiana Pacers (1-0) powered past the Detroit Pistons (0-1), 91-79.

The Golden State Warriors (1-1) popped the Chicago Bulls (1-1), 99-91.

The New Orleans Hornets (1-0) sliced the Phoenix Suns (0-1), 85-84.

The Orlando Magic (1-1) defeated the Houston Rockets (0-1), 104-95.

The Charlotte Bobcats (1-0) defeated the Milwaukee Bucks (0-1), 96-95.

The New Jersey Nets (1-0) knocked off the Washington Wizards (0-1), 90-84.

The Toronto Raptors (1-0) rolled by the Cleveland Cavaliers (0-1), 104-96.

The Oklahoma City Thunder (2-0) topped the Minnesota Timberwolves (0-1), 104-100.

The Denver Nuggets (1-0) dumped The Dallas Mavericks (0-2), 115-93.

The San Antonio Spurs (1-0) sailed past the Memphis Grizzlies (0-1), 95-82.

The Sacramento Kings (1-0) stopped the Los Angeles Lakers (0-2), 100-91.

The Portland Trail Blazers (1-0) dunked the Philadelphia 76ers (0-1), 107-103.

NCAAF: Missouri (8-5) beat North Carolina (7-6), 41-24 in the Independence Bowl.

NFL: The New Orleans Saints (12-3) downed the Atlanta Falcons (9-6)

NHL: The Colorado Avalanche (19-17-1) tamed the Minnesota Wild (20-12-5), 4-2.

The Carolina Hurricanes (12-19-6) nipped the New Jersey Devils (19-15-1), 4-2.

The New York Rangers (22-8-4) blanked the New York Islanders (11-17-6), 3-0.

The Buffalo Sabres (17-15-3) beat the Washington Capitals (17-15-2), 4-2.

The St. Louis Blues (21-10-4) dumped the Dallas Stars (20-14-1), 5-3.

The Detroit Red Wings (22-12-1) whipped the Nashville Predators (18-14-4), 4-1.

The Chicago Blackhawks (23-9-4) buried the Columbus Blue Jackets (9-22-4), 4-1.

The Los Angeles Kings (17-14-5) sneaked by the Phoenix Coyotes (18-15-3), 4-3.

The Vancouver Canucks (22-12-2) vaulted the Edmonton Oilers (15-17-3), 5-3.

The Anaheim Ducks (10-19-6) ko'ed the San Jose Sharks (19-11-3), 3-2.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio



All In the Family: Bobcats Sign Guard Cory Higgins

Jamie Squire/Getty Images(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- Former University of Colorado guard Cory Higgins' dream of playing in the NBA will now likely come true -- thanks, in part, to his father.

Higgins' dad, Rod Higgins, is the Charlotte Bobcats president of basketball operations. Cory Higgins was recently cut by the Denver Nuggets, and since the Bobcats needed a fifth guard to round out their bench, the elder Higgins didn't have to look far to complete his team's makeup.

"A lot of of people are going to think I'm here just because of him," Cory Higgins said, referring to his father. "That's not the case. I worked hard to get here and I'm here to prove to everybody, and the coach staff, that I belong here and I keep this."

Higgins, 22, is Colorado's all-time leading scorer.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Minnesota Vikings Closer to a New Stadium?

Hannah Foslien/Getty Images(MINNEAPOLIS) -- Minnesota Vikings fans may be getting a rare holiday gift. According to Sports Illustrated's Peter King, the team may finally be in line for a new stadium.

King reports that the Vikings and state officials are close to a deal that would keep the team in Minnesota for the long haul.

If a deal were to happen, it would need to come soon. The team's lease agreement with its current stadium expires after this year's final regular season game.

The location of the proposed stadium is unknown.

There is no guarantee that the Vikings will stay in Minnesota. Groups looking to build a new stadium in Los Angeles have reportedly shown interest in luring the team to California.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Knicks Guard Shumpert Out 2-4 Weeks

National Basketball Association(NEW YORK) -- Just as the New York Knicks celebrated a season-opening 106-104 victory over their Atlantic Division rival Boston Celtics on Christmas Day, word has come that rookie guard Iman Shumpert will be sidelined for 2-4 weeks with a sprained MCL.

The injury occured in the third quarter after Shumpert's right knee buckled during a collision with Celtics forward Chris Wilcox. Though he walked off the court under his own power, Shumpert had to be helped to the team's locker room.

With a condensed 66-game season, downtime due to an injury may prove even more costly this year than in those past.

"I've just got to be tough mentally," Shumpert said after the game. "Those guys were telling me it's a long season, you're going to hit bumps in the road. But I thought they were talking about different bumps. I've got to get through it."

Shumpert, 21, was the Knicks' first-round draft pick this past year.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


NFL Preview: Falcons (9-5) @ Saints (11-3) 

Scott Boehm/Getty Images(NEW ORLEANS) -- The Atlanta Falcons (9-5) will take on the New Orleans Saints (11-3) on Monday night in an NFC South division game.

The Saints, who already locked up a spot in this year's playoffs, will be looking to clinch the South with a win and a first-round bye.

The Falcons, who seem to be primed for another playoff appearance, will travel to New Orleans, and could still win the AFC South if they were to secure a win Monday night, followed by another Saints loss next week, and an additional Falcons win in week 17.

"We control what we can control," Falcons coach Mike Smith said. "It's obvious our guys are familiar with the scenarios we are in. I know our guys are aware of it. We're not going to change our preparation, how we prepare. We try to be as steady as we can and just continue to move forward like we have all season."

The Saints will wrap up their regular season next week at home against Carolina.  The Falcons will also be at home againt the Buccaneers.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Thunder Storm Past Magic, 97-89

Christian Petersen/Getty Images(OKLAHOMA CITY) -- If there's any team that seems poised to run right through the shortened NBA season and into the playoffs this year, it's the Oklahoma City Thunder, who took their first game on opening night Sunday with a 97-89 win over the Orlando Magic.

The Thunder defense held Dwight Howard to 11 points on 4-of-11 shooting.

Kevin Durant, who has led the league in scoring the past two seasons, dropped in 30 points for Oklahoma City in the victory.

"We know there are outside expectations," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. "But there aren't absolutes or guarantees. Our guys just work. I know it gets boring at times, but we like that. We're not going to change. We're all in the same boat on that. You can never become complacent. It has to be about the team."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Chris Paul Guides Clippers to First Win

National Basketball Association(OAKLAND, Calif.) -- It was an impressive debut for the Los Angeles Clippers on opening night as their new guard, Chris Paul, did exactly what he was brought to L.A. to do: come through in the clutch.

Paul chipped in 20 points and nine assists in the game and the Clippers took care of the Golden State Warriors on Sunday, 105-86.  Blake Griffin led the way with 22 points; finishing behind him was newly-acquired Chauncey Billups with 21 points. 

"While we try to figure each other out and learn guys' hot spots and stuff like that, we want to win at the same time," Paul said. "We just keep talking about 'We've just got to find a way to win, regardless of how it looks, how ugly the game is, we've got to find ways to win.' "

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Heat Ruin Mavericks' Celebration

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images(DALLAS) -- Six months removed from their loss to the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Finals, the Miami Heat got some revenge Sunday with a 105-94 win over the defending champs.

It was only during the pre-game ceremony that the Mavericks' faithful had a chance to make noise as the team unveiled its championship banner.

The Heat however, were not in attendance for the ceremony; they chose to gather in another part of the building while it was going on.

But they did show up on the court and at one point were up by 35 points midway through the third quarter.  LeBron James put in a 37-point effort and his teammate Dwyane Wade chipped in with 27 of his own.

"We're all a focused bunch.  We wanted to come in with the same mindset as we had in practice," said LeBron James.  "It was a good test going against a good team. We played well."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Bulls Edge the Lakers on Christmas Day

Chicago Bulls/NBA(LOS ANGELES) -- The Chicago Bulls stole one from the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday, the first day of a shortened NBA season. 

With 4.8 seconds remaining in the game, Bulls guard Derrick Rose hit the game-winning jumper to give Chicago an 88-87 win.

"If it weren't for my teammates, making the steal and getting the ball to me at the end, there's no way I could have gotten that shot off to help us win that game," Rose said.

The win was the first for the Bulls on Christmas Day since the Michael Jordan years.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio